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Gui Prada started dancing in 2004 inspired by the movie "Shall We Dance?". He began to dive deep into dance in 2006 as a work-study trainee of the Jaime Arôxa Dance School in Rio de Janeiro. Jaime Arôxa, one of the creators of Brazilian Zouk, was the head instructor and was a mentor for the most accomplished dancers in Brazil. During his 6 years as a member of the school's team, he learned all Brazilian partner dances (Forró, Samba de Gafieira, Soltinho, Bolero and Zouk) as well as Argentine Tango. After he left the school, he continued dancing and learning from other remarkable instructors, including Fabiano Vivas, Kelly Reis, Érico Rodrigo, Guilherme Pimentel and many others. Since then he has focused his training and research on taking the best of each of these dances and applying it to the close embrace, with the purpose of conveying a sense of well-being and relaxation to dance partners. In 2016 he attended the first Zouk Retreat in Valencia, led by Xandy Liberato, Brenda Carvalho and Anderson Mendes. After that, his research on partner dancing took a new direction, as he continued working with Brenda and Anderson to seek for the application of the concepts explored at the retreat in different ways by using the references of the other Brazilian partner dances and Argentinian Tango. As a result, the importance of the basic steps and concepts became evident, since it is through them that all dances reach another level. Gui is looking forward to sharing his technique and training with students here in Washington DC to help them improve their basics, comfort and confidence on the dance floor.Email
Hermela started her partner dance journey in 2016 when she got some friends together to go out salsa dancing. She immediately caught the bug and before she knew it, she found herself learning salsa and bachata and dancing the nights away. Hermela later found Brazilian Zouk in 2017 and fell in love with the connection and fluidity of movement. She immersed herself fully in this style, learning from District Zouk and other local and international instructors. She has attended various festivals and participated in training courses. She is looking forward to sharing her passion and enthusiasm with others.
Alisson Sandi began his dance career at the age of 15 in São Paulo, Brazil, where he was born. Over the years he trained in Brazilian, Latin and International Ballroom dancing with Jaime Arôxa, Renata Peçanha, Alex de Carvalho, Rodrigo Delano, and others. In 2007, he joined the Juan Rando Dance Academy (JRDA) in Perth, Australia, and stayed in Australia through 2019 teaching in multiple cities and around the world. Alisson has held performances and workshops in over 41 countries, and holds titles including 2x Pro World Champion, 3x Australian Pro Champion, and Winner/Finalist of various BZDC All Stars/Champions Jack and Jill Comps. He is one of the the founders and the first choreographers of the International Zouk Flash Mob. He has also been an official judge for the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council since its first competition event. Alisson has a passion for teaching and is known for his attention to detail and effective instruction in dance techniques. Recently Alisson completed the 50-hour lambada certification course with Master Braz, and is looking forward to practicing and teaching more lambada and sharing it with the dancers and community here and in Washington, DC.Email
Elena is a Brazilian zouk instructor, performer, and DJ, originally from California. She has a diverse background of many different arts and sports including gymnastics, parkour, ballet/jazz/modern/contemporary dance, and various partner dances. She began partner dancing in 2014, and has since competed at collegiate ballroom events, completed certifications in multiple dance courses, and taught classes all over North America - from San Francisco to Playa Del Carmen. Her preferred styles of dance are Brazilian zouk and bachata, but she also dances samba de gafieira, salsa, West Coast Swing, forró, while dabbling in many others. The nickname “Rhinestone” refers to her love for sparkly accessories, but also to her constant development of inner sparkle and inspiration. She is a passionate advocate for body positivity and acceptance, and she loves to incorporate this into her teaching so that people of all body types can learn to dance! She also blogs about body positivity, mental health, and personal growth (therhinestone.medium.com). In 2019, she visited DC for a weekend event and fell in love with the welcoming atmosphere and dedication of the local dancers. After a few years, she finally took the leap and moved cross-country to join the District Zouk core team! She is very excited about getting to learn alongside their phenomenal trainees and instructors and to help further grow the incredible community in DC.Email
Krystal started social dancing consistently after a summer salsa immersion program in the summer of 2012 allowed her to experience some of the beautiful things that being a part of a caring dance community can add to your life. Although she’d taken partner dance classes before, the friendships formed from that program were what led her to get more involved. They introduced her to bachata with Ferocity Dance Company in 2014, another nurturing dance community, and then to Brazilian zouk with District Zouk in 2015. Krystal joined the District Zouk performance team in 2016 and has been learning and growing under the tutelage of District Zouk ever since. Krystal is a dedicated learner who consistently pursues opportunities to learn from both local instructors and instructors from all over the globe. She joined the District Zouk teacher training program in August of 2018 and has been working hard to become a capable facilitator of the District Zouk methodology ever since. Krystal understands the power of a welcoming dance community and seeks to help contribute to cultivating and preserving that experience for future dancers. She also understands some of the hurdles quiet bookish people may face when trying to become a part of a dance community and hopes to encourage both herself and others to get out of their heads and comfort zones and express and connect with others on the dance floor.